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Comment: Why talk about war but avoid talking about gas? (Score 1) 787

I am shocked/amazed/disappointed that there is so much talk about war, but no serious consideration of Europe trying to get through the winter without Russian gas. War is incomparably worse than burning your furniture to keep warm. If Europe can't begin to figure out how to get by without Russian gas, I, as a US citizen, don't want my country participating in any kind of military activity to support them.

Comment: Re:Why municipal broadband? (Score 1) 250

Because it is a natural monopoly. Other natural monopolies, like roads, water, sewer, electric power and gas are either public (in my town) or are regulated monopolies. Internet access is a uniquely profitable unregulated natural monopoly. I recommend buying stock in the operators.

Comment: Text file (Score 5, Interesting) 170

by Strange Attractor (#46801301) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

You are right.

I use simple text files. I like them more than paper notebooks because:
1. I can edit them from anywhere that I can use ssh
2. They are easy to search
3. They are easy to back up

The comments (including the parent) that suggest simple text files and editors have all been modded down to 0. I don't understand why.

Comment: Short lived greenhouse gases help persuade (Score 1) 102

If people let enough methane escape to change the climate, it would be a short term disaster and teaching opportunity. It seems better than releasing enough CO2 to get the same change in temperature, because with CO2 the the effect would last so much longer.

Comment: Re:Wide Dissemination vs LockBox (Score 1) 259

by Strange Attractor (#45624115) Attached to: Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers

That would be good.

I don't understand why the faculty of universities haven't already done it. University faculty provide the labor to produce and publish the papers (printing is irrelevant now), then publishers sell/rent those papers to university libraries. Professional societies live off of that income, and the likes of Elsevier extort higher prices for less good. The expense is crippling the libraries.

Just writing about it gets me angry.

It is like politics, blaming Cruz or Elsevier misses the point. The blame lies with the voters and university faculty; their choices create the market incentives that rational agents serve.

Comment: Did DEC ever pay a dividend? (Score 1) 258

by Strange Attractor (#45252301) Attached to: Why Amazon Is Profitless Only By Choice

I used DEC computers from 1975 through the 1980's till I switched to SUNs. It was a great company that made great machines. While I used their machines, they had never paid a dividend because they believed they should use profits to grow the business. I don't know if they ever paid dividends. I wonder how DEC's IPO price compared to what COMPAQ paid for the company at the end.

Comment: Half MeV Beam (Score 1) 140

by Strange Attractor (#45090979) Attached to: Two-Laser Boron Fusion Lights the Way To Radiation-Free Energy

See the nice wikipedia article at

  Protons with a kinetic energy of about 500,000 electron volts have a good chance of producing 3 alpha particles with about 17 times as much energy when they hit a boron-11 nucleus. Unfortunately, a .5 MeV proton beam penetrating solid boron loses energy to electrons at about 100 times the rate that it produces energy via the induced fission. Thus you must move the electrons aside before you can start making money.

No skis take rocks like rental skis!